The Forty-Five's 45 Best Albums of 2021

The Forty-Five's 45 Best Albums of 2021

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45.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
74
23 reviews

44.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
79
14 reviews
The London psych-soul queen debuts in style, with an eighteen-track album that never unravels.

43.

February 12, 2021
Critic Score
76
33 reviews
The two-sided album gets the bravado and score-settling out of the way before turning soft and introspective on the flip.

42.

February 5, 2021
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

For a band who have always possessed a subtle power and defiant streak, ‘Good Woman’ is a particular testament to resilience and the surprising strength found in the wake of heartbreak, motherhood and bone-deep grief.

41.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
71
19 reviews

The record, much like its creator, is resilient and convincing enough to withstand more than a gentle gust – on Planet Pop 2021, anyway.

40.

February 5, 2021
Critic Score
75
18 reviews
On ‘FLOWERS for VASES/descansos’, Williams boldly dives into herself, exploring losses, failures and questions with an honesty that is ostensibly for her but serves a wider purpose.

39.

March 19, 2021
Critic Score
75
11 reviews

By the end of the album, the biggest takeaway from ‘Written & Directed’ is of a band able to splash a hell of a lot of colour onto their canvas.

38.

November 19, 2021
Critic Score
80
28 reviews

37.

October 22, 2021
Critic Score
74
25 reviews

From Zoom calls to Ultraviolence offcuts, on her eighth album the American songwriter takes the long view on her decade as an artist — but she still remains as enigmatic as ever.

36.

July 30, 2021
Critic Score
71
19 reviews

‘Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night’ is a yearning, lower-case album that stands in the shadow of a shinier caps-lock version.

35.

October 1, 2021
Critic Score
72
17 reviews

34.

February 19, 2021
Critic Score
85
9 reviews

The record’s expansive soundscape and storytelling deserve several long listens, yet its fresh outlook hints at an exciting future for grime.

33.

January 29, 2021
Critic Score
79
26 reviews

‘On All Fours’ doesn’t totally rewrite the book, but there’s a new concision to Goat Girl’s sound, an urgency that stems from personal as well as global upheaval.

32.

March 26, 2021
Critic Score
79
8 reviews

31.

September 10, 2021
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

What ‘Star-Crossed’ does best is add a tinge of darkness to ‘Golden Hour’, an album that’s now irrevocably changed, awarded a second, shadier life. And in turn, some gold finds its way to Musgraves’ new, post-divorce world.

30.

July 16, 2021
Critic Score
70
16 reviews
Willow Smith whips her guitar back and forth on her fourth solo album, enlisting Travis Barker, Avril Lavigne, and Tierra Whack for a true pop-punk, alt-rock treat.

29.

February 26, 2021
Critic Score
81
35 reviews

The Tennessee indie songwriter rewrites the book on her third record, adding drums and embracing turmoil.

28.

September 10, 2021
Critic Score
85
20 reviews

For those seeking the manic, mulletted energy of Amyl and the Sniffers’ debut, and something that pokes a little deeper at pub rock, there’s plenty here to satisfy.

27.

April 2, 2021
Critic Score
83
32 reviews
Modern-day absurdities and wry truths show up on the debut album from the London post-punk band, delivered with languid panache.

26.

February 12, 2021
Critic Score
80
14 reviews

‘Super Monster’ slips a doorstop under every pop genre, keeping all ways open.

24.

January 29, 2021
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

‘Not Your Muse’ is at once a showcase for Celeste’s singularly gifted and eerie vocals, a retro-modern sonic playground to explore in an unhurried fashion and – on rare occasion – a minefield of generic soul-inspired pop.

23.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
86
26 reviews
Switching muddy shoegaze for bright pop, Michelle Zauner's third album as Japanese Breakfast is a record that could only be made by somebody who has felt pain, and is brave enough to try and defy it.

22.

November 5, 2021
Critic Score
82
26 reviews

20.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
86
13 reviews

19.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

On her third album, the American songwriter plunders her past for gutsy, clear-cut tales of teenage love and friendship.

18.

March 26, 2021
Critic Score
91
15 reviews

Balfe couldn’t have expected that his album would land in a year where all too many people around the world are trying to pick themselves up after unexpected loss, but it’s a record of great solidarity, proving that memory is so much more than headstones and regrets over things that weren’t said.

17.

February 5, 2021
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

‘Ignorance’ ramps up the sonic freedom – but the new album is immaculately thought-out. Lindeman faces the climate change Goliath the best way possible: through a personal lens. She’s never preachy, rarely obvious, her watertight lyrics probably worthy of a Nobel.

16.

August 27, 2021
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
For this record, the pop star has teamed up with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to create an album of industrial, grunge and goth rock that details Halsey’s experience of pregnancy.

15.

July 2, 2021
Critic Score
85
18 reviews

Call ‘Pink Noise’ a break-up album if you like, though really, it’s more of a power move: dazzling instead of caustic, triumphant instead of sour.

14.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
87
23 reviews
Tyler, the Rapper, Tyler, the Poet. Call him if you get lost in the album’s deep web of hip-hop motifs and references. Call him if you get lost in its exquisite tangle of sensation. Call him if you get lost just at the opening line: “The sun beamin’.”

13.

October 15, 2021
Critic Score
82
12 reviews

12.

August 27, 2021
Critic Score
88
18 reviews

11.

March 19, 2021
Critic Score
80
35 reviews
During a period that's tailor-made for navel-gazing and nostalgia, Lana has produced yet another timely record for us to brood over.

10.

January 29, 2021
Critic Score
82
35 reviews
Playing to her strengths as a writer has paid off, for ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ does everything a debut should – it hooks you into Arlo Parks’ world, whether she’s sitting beside you or not.

9.

April 30, 2021
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
‘if i could could make it go quiet’ is an unrelenting, deeply thoughtful debut record reaffirming Girl In Red’s reputation as an unstoppable pop icon.

8.

May 14, 2021
Critic Score
84
36 reviews
‘Daddy’s Home’ may be another artistic regeneration, but nostalgia and looser grooves mask gnarly topics: behind the sepia sunglasses St Vincent burrows closer to home than ever before, skewering society in the process.

7.

August 20, 2021
Critic Score
65
32 reviews
A new sun-loving Lorde tries to find her zen on album number three.

5.

October 22, 2021
Critic Score
93
18 reviews

‘Prioritise Pleasure’ is an ambitious and vibrant testament to women but more importantly, a testament to herself. It’s nothing less than pop perfection.

4.

July 16, 2021
Critic Score
80
26 reviews

The album reveals more of itself with each spin, like a shyly flamboyant bird. Little changes make themselves known – choppy jazz, creaking acoustics, the kind of piano confessionals heard in an after-hours bar – and the small-scale hops reflect the album’s gentle yet bold leap forward.

3.

September 3, 2021
Critic Score
90
35 reviews
An introvert Simbi may be, but this album is the proof, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

2.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
86
32 reviews

‘Blue Weekend’ is a ballsy idyll of feeling: the sound of a band satisfying themselves rather than proving themselves, and completely filling the space they’ve carved out over the years.

1.

May 21, 2021
Critic Score
78
20 reviews
Rodrigo is guaranteed global megastardom with the release of the best break-up album since Lorde's 'Melodrama'.
Original Source: https://thefortyfive.com/opinion/best-albums-of-2021/
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